December 10th 2015 archive

Why didn’t they help?

On February 2, 2005, a young man named Matthew Carrington died in the basement of the fraternity house of Chi Tau. He had 4 friends with him and was forced to drink water from a five-gallon jug of water, which was refilled over and over. Furthermore, he was calisthenics ( push-ups & sit-ups) with fans blasted icy air. His groups of friends were ridiculed for hours, being forced trivia quizzes. Suddenly, Carrington collapsed but Fraternity members thought he was just asleep so they didn’t initially call an ambulance, but one of his friends tries to call but didn’t press the button on the phone. By the time they thought/realized he was not breathing, it was too late… He was pronounced dead because of water intoxication. (SFGATE)

Obviously, Matthew Carrington would not have died if the members of fraternity called the ambulance immediately when he passed out. If, one person was brave enough to call, they could have saved a life that night. Even though they thought he was just “asleep,” just in case they should have take actions. However, we should understand their point of view at that time. They were having bystander effect. Usually, when people are alone, you encounter an emergency, you are more likely to take immediate action, while if you are one of the many witnesses in a similar situation, you are less likely to do so. This is called the bystander effect.

Furthermore, when you are with a group of members nor surrounded with a lot of people around you, our responsibilities get divided amongst that group therefore, we don’t feel the need for us to do something because we suspect that someone else will take care of it anyway. Following to the video here, the fraternity members persuaded each other that Matt was fine or he is just sleeping in which have stopped them as individuals from calling the ambulance.


Vega, Cecilia M. “Horrifying Details in Hazing Death / Police Arrest 5 — Chico State May Abolish Fraternities.” SFGATE. Chronicle Staff Writer, 5 Mar. 2005. Web. 10 Dec. 2015.